Microsoft Monetize - Creative standards

Microsoft Advertising has foundational policies that all creative and inventory content must follow. Creatives that violate these policies will be removed from the platform, and will be ineligible for both real-time bidding (RTB) and in-network buying. Repeated violation of these policies may result in strikes against offending members.

Prohibited content

Ensure that your creatives and inventory do not contain any of the following.

Ban Reason Description
Creative contains deceptive content - Creative has no clearly defined background nor border.
- Creative contains non-functional elements (video player interface, closing icon, etc.)
- Creative mimics email/messaging/social media interface implying notification or new message.
- Creative claims visitor is a visitor number, ex. “You’re our 100,000th visitor!”
- Creative features “Download/Play Now” buttons as majority of creative content
Displays fake errors or warnings to induce user action - Creative imitates mobile phone interface to drive traffic
- Creative imitates a dialogue/OS box, displays fake errors or warnings to drive traffic
Enabling or permitting piracy - Copyright-infringing pirated media content
   - Film/TV
   - Books
   - Music
   - Etc.
- File-sharing services without a DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) take-down policy
Features the sale of drugs, pharmaceuticals, or drug paraphernalia that is illegal - Pro-marijuana content
- Promotion or sale of marijuana
- Marijuana accessories
- Marijuana culture sites
- Investment or career opportunities in the marijuana industry
- Etc.

Note: Products derived from marijuana plant that do not contain illegal drug properties will not ban (ex. hemp, CBD oil, etc.)
Features the sale of or instructions to create bombs, guns, ammunition, or other weapons Creative advertises a site whose main purpose is to sell and promote guns or ammunition
Inappropriately charges for government forms or services - Charging for government forms or services that are normally free or offering them cheaper than the government.
- Any illegal or deceptive service to bypass a public system (ex. fake IDs, evading traffic tickets, etc.)
Misappropriation of a copyright, trademark, trade secret or patent of another party Creative deceptively uses a major brand’s logo in an offer not affiliated with that brand
Pornography, nudity, obscenity, or other "adult" content - Major nudity (female nipples, genitalia, etc.)
- Depiction of sexual acts
- Escort services
- Realistic sex toys
- Sales or distribution of pornography

For more information, see our Part of Service Policies.

Disapproval reasons

The following table outlines reasons why a creative may be rejected from serving on Microsoft Advertising inventory and recommendations for resolving the potential issue. Our policies apply to nearly all inventory sources with some minor exceptions. All creatives must meet these criteria in order to be approved. Microsoft Advertising reserves the right to update audit policies and integrate or amend acceptance criteria at any time.

Failure Reason Description Recommendations
Auto-Refreshing Creative Creative and/or browser tab refreshes automatically resulting in multiple impressions Auto-refreshing creatives are not allowed. Please update the creative and re-submit it to the audit.
Creative brand does not match creative landing page The brand that the creative displays and the brand of the landing page are not the same or related It is recommended to use the creative Brand website as a landing page.
Creative clicks through in the same window - The creative's landing page loads in the same page instead of opening a new window or tab.
- The creative loads the entire landing page into the frame
It is recommended to update the creative in order to have a new window or tab open when a user click on the creative.
Creative contains content prohibited by policy - Excessive blood or gore
- Excessive or disparaging profanity
- Racial slurs and hate speech.
- Creative advertises online-only pharmacy selling prescription drugs.
- Prescriptions drugs offered without a prescription
Full Microsoft Advertising policy here Part of Service Policies.
Creative does not click through properly - The creative is clicked and does not open a landing page.
- Creative clicks through to unbranded landing page (ex. 404 errors, non-functional pages, etc.)
- Creative click opens multiple landing pages off one click.
- The creative is clicked, and a landing page opens, but no content loads.
- The creative is clicked, and a landing page loads, but an error keeps any content from being displayed.
Ensure that the creative is redirecting to a live, functional and branded landing page.

Warning: A landing page cannot have a geo targeting applied to it. How audit team needs to be able to see the landing page content.
Creative does not display a clear brand - The creative does not display a brand.
- The creative displays a brand, but it is not sufficient notification.
It is advised to update the creative content in order to clearly show a brand.

Note:
Definition of “sufficient”
When evaluating a creative for appropriate brand notification, the audit team looks for at least one of three things:
- a logo
- a landing page URL
- a distinct brand name
If the only branding on the creative is a logo, then that exact logo must also be on the landing page to be sufficient. If the only branding on the creative is a landing page URL, then that must be the URL the creative has as its landing page.
Distinct brand name is sufficient notification in one of the following ways:
- The brand name is not an actual word and when it appears on the creative it cannot be confused for other, non-branded text (e.g. Cygnas)
- The brand name is a distinct set of actual words, and the landing page exactly matches this and/or has a distinct, matching typeface as the creative (For example, "The Best Wedding Music" goes to thebestweddingmusic.com and/or is written in red bold Helvetica on both the creative and the landing page)
Creative does not display properly - Creative brands or offers are cut off.
- Creative displays too briefly for branding and clickthrough
- Creative displays extraneous text tail
Review and preview the creative and see if the content is displaying as expected.
If it is not the case, it is recommended to update and correct the creative.
Creative does not meet minimum standards - Creative does not display on certain operating systems.
- Creative is entirely text only
It is recommended to update the creative to make is match with our minimum standards.
Creative has no assigned landing page. Please assign a campaign and resubmit Creative has no direct landing page assigned A landing page is mandatory to get creative approved.
You can assign it at the creative UI level or at the LI level.
Creative improperly rotates brands or advertiser - The creative has multiple versions with different brands under a single ID
- A single creative represents and clicks through to multiple different brands' landing pages
- For video creatives, a pre-roll ad for a different brand play before the actual offer
If a creative is co-branded (for example, Brand X and Brand Y collaborating), the brand will be set based on which of the brands owns the landing page URL.
- Ensure that all the creatives that are rotating in the tag are all from the same brand.
- Ensure that the creatives are all redirecting to the creative brands’ landing page.
Creative is blank - Creative doesn’t render due to geo/IP issues.
- Creative doesn’t render due to typo/error in creative content/tag or hosted ad server issue
It is recommended to run the following checks:
- Check if the creative displays correctly on an external tool. If not, coming from the creative directly and not the Microsoft Advertising platform. Please, correct it and resubmit it to the Microsoft Advertising audit.
- Make sure to allowlist or unblock our previews domains in the creative ad server: adnxs.net, adnxs.com, creative-preview-an.com, audit.adnxs.net, cq-preview.adnxs.net
- If an Ad Verification service (Adsafe, moat...) is implemented in the creative, it is advised to use the ${IS_PREVIEW} macro.

Note: We created the macro, ${IS_PREVIEW}, to signal the ad verification vendor that the creative should render. This macro will be replaced with a 1 when we are previewing it. More information about the macro's implementation here.
Creative/Landing Page prompts download Creative or landing page prompts user to download a file Creative that contains content that depicts, contains, or provides access to any files that execute or download without intentional user interaction are prohibited. Policy here:
Declared tag size does not match creative’s actual dimensions Incorrect creative tag size. The size in Microsoft Advertising UI does not match the actual size of the creative. - Check if the declared size in the UI matches your creative size. If not, please update the declared size to make it match with your creative size.
- In case of a high impact or expandable creative: It is recommended to upload and create the creative as a standard banner with 1x1 (or 1x2) size. This way, we won’t look at the primary size and will focus on the expandable creative size.

CBA standards

All creatives must meet the Coalition for Better Ads (CBA) standards in order to serve on desktop and mobile inventory. For more information, see Standards.